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27.07.2005 General News

Democrat Report Is Complete Rubbish -CHRAJ



The Acting Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ms. Anna Bossman has described as absolute rubbish the story churned out by the 'National Democrat' in its issue of Monday, 18th July – Wednesday, 20th July, on the uncompleted hotel building purchased by “Chief” Kufuor – the President's eldest son.

The story was headlined as “- Hotel De Waa Waa Scandal: “CHRAJ's COVER-UP BEGINS” with the following kickers; “May 30 – Acting Commissioner condemns press outcry of President's purchase of the hotel; June 21 – Chief Kufuor holds secret meeting with CHRAJ boss; July 7 – Emile Short is flown in from Rwanda to help in cover-up; and July 12 – Emile Short appears at office to begin cover up”.

According to Ms. Bossman, it was “quite categorically untrue” that she condemned the “press outcry of President's purchase of the hotel” as alleged by the “National Democrat”, a pro National Democratic Congress (NDC) Party mouthpiece 'shadow-edited', by Mr. Victor Smith, Special Aide Of Ex-President J.J. Rawlings.

Ms. Bossman said the Commission held a training workshop for its officers at ERATA and MIKLIN Hotel and as usual she had to make an opening address at these separate workshops, on their objectives.

According to her, in these addresses, she made few comments on the media speculations, that had gained currency, on the purchase and sale of the uncompleted hotel building near President Kufuor's private residence.

She said, she told her officers that since the Commission was still investigating an issue that had attracted a lot of media concern – hence the speculations – it would be improper for officials of the Commission to join the fray by making comments or responses to questions.

The Acting Commissioner denied ever attacking the press for condemning or commenting on President Kufuor's alleged purchase of the hotel.

She also described as very ridiculous The National Democrat's allegation that she asked her “personnel not to make any public statement on the scandal because she would adopt a strategy to quench it”.

She also said it was ridiculous for the newspaper to say that the Commission had held secret meetings with “Chief Kufuor in furtherance of CHRAJ's bid to cover up the scandal for the Kufuors”.

According to her, the Commission was simply following its routine and established mode of investigation and hence invited “Chief Kufuor officially per the Commission's official letterhead”.

She said there was nothing secret about the invitation, but since it was part of the preliminary investigations, the meeting was not declared public for it (public) to be privy to whatever transpired during the meeting.

The Acting-Commissioner described as absolute rubbish the NDC mouthpiece's assertion that Commissioner Short had been flown in from Rwanda purposely to help in the “cover up” of the “hotel building scandal”.

According to her, Commissioner Short was in the country and as it were, openly attended the Annual Human Rights Lectures held last week at the British Council in Accra.

She said the assertions made in that story by the “National Democrat” were “complete rubbish that would not help our cause”.

Meanwhile, in another development, Mr. Bosompem, the Public Relations Officer of CHRAJ, has told Radio Gold in Accra, in an interview that there had been no secret meeting between the Commission and Chief Kufuor.

Rather, he said, “Chief Kufuor as part of their routine investigations was officially invited to the CHRAJ headquarters for interrogations”.

“There has been no secret meetings between the CHRAJ Boss and Chief Kufuor”, said Mr. Bosompem. “That is absolutely incorrect”, he asserted.

He also denied the allegation that Commissioner Short had been purposely flown in to help in the cover-up of what the “National Democrat” was describing as “Hotel De Waa Waa Scandal”.

He said he was unaware of the presence of Commissioner Short in Ghana to participate in the investigations of the “Hotel Kufuor Saga”, adding that he doubted if the Commissioner had finished his assignment in Rwanda.

Mr. Bosompem cautioned that the insinuations and the innuendoes that were being bandied about could undermine the reputation of internationally renowned judges like Mr. Short.

“I think we should, you know, respect our public icons and that would help more Ghanaians excel and do better in the things that they do”, Mr. Bosompem cautioned, asserting that it was impossible for Commissioner Short to be manipulated to do what otherwise he would not have done.

He described the “National Democrat” publication as very malicious and unfair to Commissioner Short.

Mr. Hennric Yeboah, the son-in-law of the original owner of the uncompleted hotel building – Anthony Saoud - appeared on the same “Radio Gold” programme and conceded having been invited by CHRAJ for interrogation relating to the hotel saga, but declined to give details.

Kofi Twumasi, the supposed editor of the “National Democrat” whose name (?) appears in the paper's imprint at the back page as Elliot Felix Ohene also spoke on the same programme to answer questions on what he had published. A week earlier he had been badly exposed by the line of questioning adopted by Nii Arday Clegg on the same radio station.

According to him, he stood by what he had published. He dismissed Mr. Bosompem's submissions as untrue and only an execution of his job as the public relations officer.

Whilst Mr. Bosompem and Ms. Bossman contended that the Commission at this stage was doing preliminary investigations in order for them to build a case, and hence there was no need for any public presence, Kofi Twumasi cited the cases of Mr. P.V. Obeng, Osei-Wusu and Ibrahim Adam whose cases in the past were according to him, held publicly.

This paper, however, gathered that the public was still excluded from the processes of the 'preliminary investigations' into the cases involving the personalities Kofi Twumasi mentioned to underscore his preposterous submissions on Radio Gold.